UW Health Sports Medicine 

'The Voice' with Matt Lepay

The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgCongratulations to the newest members of the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame.

Former football coach and current  Athletics Director Barry Alvarez, 12-time All-American swimmer Ellen Stonebreaker, two-time NCAA champion wrestler Donny Pritzlaff, two-time All-American track athlete Dick Houden, football All-American Dan Lanphear, four-time Academic All-American football standout Don Davey  and Theran Welsh, who remains the highest scoring defenseman in Badger hockey history.
To say the least this is quite a group, and UWBadgers.com is featuring each inductee. I hope you take a few moments to read about some of this school's greatest performers.

For Alvarez, his Hall of Fame "tour" continues. How about this man's last year? He has been inducted into the Wisconsin Sports Hall of Fame, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, this Friday he officially enters the UW Athletics Hall of Fame, and in December, he will become one of the newest members of the College Football Hall of Fame. Not bad.

I also feel compelled to stand and applaud for Don Davey. He played during a time when UW football was hurting in a big way, yet he was never part of the problem. Davey was part of the solution.

I will never forget during the 1990 season, Don's senior year and Alvarez's first as head coach. The team was 1-9 going into the final game at Michigan State. If you watched practice that week, you would never know the team's record was so poor. Near the end of one of that week's practices, there was Davey running sprints against then-defensive coordinator Dan McCarney.

It is 20 years later, and perhaps even Davey does not remember that moment, but it sticks with me. The man had every reason to just mail it in and make sure he kept himself healthy for the NFL draft, but he seemed to treat every game and every practice as though it would be his last.

It is good to see the UW celebrate its past. Younger fans should know about Lanphear and Houden. They should know that Theran Welsh certainly did his part and then some in helping the hockey program reach an elite status. Wrestling fans are thrilled that Pritzlaff remains very much a part of the UW family, helping coach Andrew Howe to an NCAA title last spring. The swimmers have an impressive tradition as well, and nearly a decade removed from collegiate competition, Stonebreaker still holds a couple of school records.

I tip my cap to the University of Wisconsin, and especially the work of Terry Murawski and his crew at the National W Club for embracing the stars of yesteryear. Life tends to move very quickly, and there are obvious reasons to focus almost entirely on the present.  

However, it never hurts to appreciate the past, especially when we think about all the talented and hard working people who helped make University of Wisconsin athletics what it is today.